Questions tagged [aesthetics]

Aesthetics is the study of the beautiful. It is one of the classical sub-disciplines of philosophy.

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What does the philosopher Bruno Latour mean when he claims that we have never been modern?

I am trying to read Bruno Latour's paper "A cautious Prometheus? A few steps towards philosophy of design" but have no background in philosophy and so would be happy if someone could help me out ...
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Why does my appreciation of female physical beauty tend to be presumed to be sexual?

Apologies for the topic; I could not find a way to say it any better. Anyway, as a male I would like to be able to admire women's physical aspects purely aesthetically; I have no sexual intent of ...
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Is Deleuze saying that the “virtual” generates beauty and lies outside affect?

This article says All this is most fully worked out in Difference and Repetition(1994). What Deleuze calls the virtual is the there posed as the transcendental condition of all ...
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Is the laughable person beautiful?

All of us when see a laughable comedy star, for example: a fatty actor having a laughable face, i.e: physically laughable whose appearance makes us smile or laugh, we feel happiness and joy. Does this ...
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What were the moral and aesthetic ideas that Camus was interested in?

I have read most of the books by Albert Camus thoroughly. I know that Camus' theory is absurdity but I want to know his take on morality. I mean, what were the moral and aesthetic ideas that Camus was ...
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How to make philosophically sound argument regarding something being beautiful?

We often hear people speak of something as being beautiful. For example, many believe that mathematics is a beautiful subject. What they mean by being beautiful varies by context, and is often ...
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Philosophers who view Aesthetics as an application of other fields of Philosophy?

I'm not looking to have a debate on stackexchange about wether aesthetics is a branch in itself. However, I am looking for sources, or just recommendations of writers of aesthetics, who view ...
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Why does Schopenhauer think aesthetic experience is the suspension of pain and desire?

In an discussion about Schopenhauer , the French philosophy teacher Christophe Salaün says: "L'expérience esthétique est la suspension momentanée de la douleur, du désir. En supprimant provisoirement ...
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What is autonomy in art, where does it come from?

What is autonomy in recent art, where does it come from? I've encountered the concept in contemporary literary criticism, but recall little beyond it being prized by contemporary modernists, it ...
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Trichotomy in philosophy

In many philosophical works and ideas*, it seems like the number 3 gets a major, unexplained emphasis (mostly as a trichotomy). One of the major ideas that uses trichotomy is the Thesis-Antithesis-...
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Aesthetics: why is “formalism” used as a pejorative term?

Socialist realism regarded the avant-garde movements as "formalist". Modern styles like Cubism and Impressionism were considered non-representative forms of art, therefore hard to understand by the ...
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Is true beauty long lasting (through long periods of time)? Is beauty therefore objective?

When people think of objects that are considered "beautiful," people think of gold, diamonds, and crystals. These objects are resistant to change over time and tend to last in their original forms. ...
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Are there central theories on aesthetics?

Are there central theories on aesthetics? I am looking to see if there were any significant philosophers by significant I mean people who often are discussed among university circles today or in the ...
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Is there a philosophical term or theory that defines or describes the idea of 'epiphany'?

I am new to the philosophy stack exchange, so please let me know if I need to clarify this question further. I am curious if there is a distinction made in philosophical fields between a typical step-...
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Is there a theory about art as a perception(way to “see” things?)

Art as a perception as in looking at an object,environment,experience in a thoughtful and slow way ,"appreciating" it,thus letting an object become art.
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Does all art have a sentiment?

It occurred to me that when e.g. reading poetry, I attach a lot of significance to a kind of sentiment. It seems independent of how genteel the work is. I am interested in finding a way of thinking ...
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Is art a form of communication?

I recently got into a discussion where the other person claimed that art is a form of communication. Bearing in mind that the definition of art is disputed, did any philosophers argue that a work ...
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Are there objective criteria for aesthetic judgment?

Are there objective criteria for judging whether or not artworks are good art? Should we at times appeal to moral values in assessing the quality of artwork? What major approaches are there for the ...
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Measuring a Person's Aesthetic Sense

Can we measure or evaluate the aesthetic sense of a person? Like, can we statistically say that Person A has a superior aesthetic sense to Person B? Since beauty is relative, can we truly 'grade' ...
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Prerequisites to study aesthetics

So, I plan to begin to self study aesthetics, and was wondering whether a working knowledge of art history would be helpful for the same? If so, would Gardner's History of Art be sufficient? Also, on ...
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What is the goal of tragedy, according to Aristotle and what is the role of the plot in achieving this goal?

I honestly think the goal of tragedy for him is catharsis. And the role of the plot is a story to follow in a logical order.
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Who coined a term in art philosophy refering to the danger of looking at older art through the lens of modern art? And what is it?

For example looking at african art through the lens of picasso, or certain landscape artists as proto-abstract art. Something to do with anachronism, but it was a specific art historian/philosopher ...
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What are some opinions about what beauty is in poetry?

I am interested in hearing some explanations about what beauty is in poetry and subjectively define what makes a poem beautiful.
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The aesthetic education of man; translation

Can anyone recommend a good translation of The Aesthetic Education of Man by Friedrich Schiller?
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Universality of aesthetic judgment in Kant

In the Critique of Judgement Kant tries to characterise the aesthetic judgement as (among others) universal, i.e as a judgement that we can demand others to have as well as us. If I understand ...
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Had Kant ever said anything about “Beauty is not on the rosy cheeks of a maiden”?

My "Introduction to Aesthetics" textbook (a cheap-looking book made by people of questionable credentials) claims that Immanuel Kant had said something to the effect of "Beauty doesn't lie on the rosy ...
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Aesthetically judging without concepts?

In the Second Moment of the Critique of Judgement, Kant writes about how the universality of the judgment of beauty is without concepts. I understand what he is doing here, but keep wondering whether ...
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Can art be honest?

I was watching an episode of "Penny Dreadful" (ep.04 of season 1, here's the YouTube link for the scene in question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxp21dbnRnA). In this episode, Dorian Gray (the one ...
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Kant and the ornament

I am getting somewhat confused about Kant's stance about ornaments. In the Critique of Judgement, Kant seems to make a strict distinction between parergon (the add-ons to say cruely) and ergon (the ...
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Who are some (relatively) modern “platonists” with respect to aesthetics/philosophy of art?

I'm interested in discovering post-Enlightenment to contemporary thinkers who discuss art in terms of form and beauty, and imitation vs "true forms." Thanks!
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Beauty: objective or subjective?

What makes so many philosophers believe beauty is objective?
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Is it ethical to try to convince someone of something without explicitly letting them know what that is?

Is it ethical or virtuous to try to convince someone of something without telling them explicitly what that is? For example, is it ethical to try to convince someone that an art work by Picasso is ...
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When can a creative work be considered to have transcended time?

When does a creative work become timeless? This thought came to me as I listened to the performances at the Alaska International Piano-e-Competition 2018. All of the competitors were spectacular. My ...
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Do philosophers think ethics can't be based on our wishes? [closed]

Some presuppositions: Premise 1. "Wrong" means the reasoning used in an argument was flawed. Another notion of "wrong" is wrong method. Misknowledge how. Definition 2. Wishes are not produced by ...
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What is the role of the art curator?

I keep seeing people talking about the increased importance of curation in art today. What is going on here, has any philosopher discussed this trend or possible problems linked to curation of art? ...
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What do contemporay philosophers say about Hegel's aesthetics beyond interpretation?

Hegel's philosophy of art is a wide ranging account of beauty in art, the historical development of art, and the individual arts of architecture, sculpture, painting, music and poetry. It contains ...
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Does doing comparative philosophy presuposse adopting cultural-relativism?

Assuming that there are several distinct philosophical traditions - say - Western, Chinese and Indian and that philosophers can actually compare the manner certain philosophical problems were handled ...
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Architectural Philosophy

I am an architecture student who wants to be more than just friends with philosophy. I am looking for something that narrates forms and spaces very well. It could be metaphoric to human behavior like ...
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How can we tell when a practical philosophy practice is “philosophical” or “mystical”?

I've been thinking lately of the fact that a lot of people, many intellectuals included, pretty much dismiss of any kind of "mysticistic" practice. I'll put the general definition from Wikipedia for "...
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Is trance music cathartic?

I've been thinking about catharsis (in the sense used in aesthetics) and I'm trying to feel out the edges of its accepted application. Trance music is often described using words such as "euphoric" ...
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Philosophical Positions on the Purpose and Qualities of Art

What are some philosophical stances on art and its purpose? I know this is a broad question, but any sources or thoughts would be great. I am particularly interested in music.
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Which artistic form (Visual, Audio, Literary etc.) is the best at conveying emotion?

I have always felt that art, at least good art, is a method by which to convey emotion - to imbue part of the artists soul into something physical. What do philosophers say is the best medium to ...
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Does Danto's 'The Disenfranchisement of Art' (1984) imply that if anything can be an art then nothing is?

An ex friend claimed that if anything can be an art then nothing is, and cited the following passage as a proof: When art internalizes its own history, when it becomes self-conscious of its ...
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Aesthetics and the unbalanced psyche

Due to the things I have been reading and observing lately, I wonder: what is the importance of an "unbalanced" psyche to the aesthetics of his/her oeuvre? The trigger of this thought was the fact ...
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Nietzsche: Does visual art reaffirm life?

In the Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche states that life is justified through artistic creativity. He analyses the ancient Greek tragedies to further elaborate on his point. My question is: would his ...
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In what sense does philosophy, especially aesthetics, live on, for Adorno?

The introduction to Negative Dialectics begins Philosophy, which once seemed outmoded, remains alive because the moment of its realization was missed. The summary judgement that it had merely ...
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Is the value of art always contextual, or can it ever be inherent?

A few years back, I was in a modern art museum and saw this painting by Russian Suprematist artist Kazimir Malevich: It seems to me that the value of this painting lies completely in the identity of ...
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Is there any “uniformity” in the arts?

By uniformity, I mean things like postulates, or presumptions. Can we talk about such a thing in the arts? For example, in poetry or literature (as of literary arts) or in visual arts? Thank you!
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What gives rise to the preponderance of 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern's? [closed]

In Shakespeare's Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are two unintelligent Danish nobles who were ultimately fooled by the protagonist and executed by the English king. Their attire, role, and tone ...
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“Without the assumption of the existence of uniformities there can be no knowledge.”

So I am to discuss the question with reference to two areas of knowledge. I chose to talk about mathematics and the arts (including literature, visual arts, music, etc.). I put a lot of thought into ...